The rumble of racing engines is coming to the campus of the General Motors Powertrain Engineering headquarters in Pontiac, MI, in the near future. The automaker is moving its motorsport operations to the new Performance and Racing Center there in mid-2015.

The Performance and Racing Center will be responsible for powertrain development for GM's North American motorsports division. This will include developing engines for the company's racers in NASCAR, IndyCar, the United SportsCar Championship and more. The new facility will also include an electric motor lab to create prototypes and production processes for the next-generation of electrified drivetrains. The automaker's gear center will be there, as well, to develop parts for future transmissions.

The move is part of GM's $200 million investment into the Powertrain Engineering campus. It's building a new 138,000 square-foot test center there to consolidate most of its US engineering into one location. When complete, it will move about 400 jobs there. GM expects the roughly 100 racing engineers to move from their current location in Wixom, MI, to Pontiac in mid-2015. The company claims that putting everyone in one place reduces development time for its vehicles. Scroll down for the full announcement.
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GM Starts Work on New Performance and Racing Center
Pontiac, Mich. facility dedicated to race engineering, electric motors and more
2014-04-30

PONTIAC, Mich. – General Motors today began construction of a state-of-the-art facility for race engine design and development, as well as an electric motor laboratory and gear center.

GM's continued investment in motorsports comes from the time-tested belief that racing is the ultimate proving ground for much of the technology that applies to the vehicles GM sells.

"The GM Performance and Racing Center, or GMPRC, will continue to develop some of the world's winningest race engines for Chevrolet and Cadillac," said Steve Kiefer, vice president of GM Global Powertrain. "Connecting our race engineers with our global powertrain engineering teams will improve our customers' powertrains in terms of efficiency, reliability and durability. The center will also provide exciting career opportunities for our engineering organization."

Engineers and technicians from GM's race engineering center in Wixom, Mich. will move to the new facility in mid-2015. The relocation will centralize North American powertrain engineering expertise for production engines as well as advanced and racing propulsion programs. Condensing the engineering to one large space is an excellent way to develop race-bred engineers whether they work on production or performance vehicles.

This centralization of talent will provide more collaboration opportunities between racing and production engineers already at GM Powertrain Engineering headquarters and development lab, one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world.

The move will include about 100 employees who work on powertrain racing development, electric motors and in the gear center. The new building is expected to be opened and in use by mid-2015 and completed by early 2016.

"The GM Performance and Racing Center will serve as a resource to help our race teams and drivers continue to win races and championships," said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. "It will also help advance technical sharing between racing and production engine programs."

The GMPRC is part of a $200 million investment GM announced last January to build a new 138,000 sq.-ft. test wing. At that time, the company announced work at four remote locations would consolidate on the Pontiac campus, helping to reduce development timing for GM's next-generation advanced propulsion technologies. When the moves are complete, about 400 jobs will be added to the Pontiac campus.

Engineers at the GMPRC will work on powertrain-related projects for GM's involvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Verizon IndyCar Series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Pirelli World Challenge, NHRA (COPO Camaro Program) and Global Rally Cross.

The Chevrolet and Cadillac racing teams have seen much track success. Since its inception in 1999, Corvette Racing has won 10 manufacturer titles in GT competition and 92 global wins, including seven prestigious class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Team Cadillac, since 2004, has amassed 24 wins, 82 podium finishes and 20 pole positions. The team won the World Challenge Manufacturer Championship in 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.

In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, Chevrolet has captured the Manufacturers' Cup title an unprecedented 37 times, including the past 11 consecutive years. Chevrolet also leads all Manufacturers in the series with 722 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories.

Chevrolet returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012 as an engine manufacturer, and won 23 of the 37 races held since. Chevrolet also won the IndyCar Manufacturer Championship in 2012 and 2013. Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in both 2012 and 2013, and Tony Kanaan won the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

In addition to the performance and racing engineering, the new facility will house an electric motor lab and a gear center.

The electric motor lab produces prototype electric motors and validates manufacturing processes used in the production of electric and hybrid vehicle motors. Electric motor engineering, design and validation are core competencies for GM in the development, sourcing and manufacturing of electric vehicles and their major components.

The gear center supports design, manufacturing processes, inspection techniques and testing of gears used primarily in the next generation of GM transmissions.

The GM Powertrain World Headquarters is a 450,000-square-foot facility. Engineers at the facility design and develop engines, transmissions, hybrid and electric powertrains, and fuel cell technologies. Advanced tools within the campus provide engineers the ability to test all elements of these propulsion systems under extreme conditions, including cold ambient temperatures, high RPMs, and repetitive starting and stopping, to assure excellent durability, reliability and quality.

General Motors Co. (NYSE:GM, TSX: GMM) and its partners produce vehicles in 30 countries, and the company has leadership positions in the world's largest and fastest-growing automotive markets. GM, its subsidiaries and joint venture entities sell vehicles under the Chevrolet, Cadillac, Baojun, Buick, GMC, Holden, Jiefang, Opel, Vauxhall and Wuling brands. More information on the company and its subsidiaries, including OnStar, a global leader in vehicle safety, security and information services, can be found at http://www.gm.com


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  • 17 Comments
      churchmotor
      • 7 Months Ago
      Hint to GM, take that 12 BILLION in cash you stole from tax payers and fix all the know problems you are covering up and hiding.
      William Weisberg
      • 7 Months Ago
      GM, why don't you try spending money on design and manufacturing before you waste more money on this stupid endeavor to produce high performance powertrains.
        Rob K
        • 7 Months Ago
        @William Weisberg
        Or payback some of that 10 Billion you owe to the American tax payer.
      Karfreek
      • 7 Months Ago
      Is this really money well spent, GM?
        jack smith
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Karfreek
        Very likely, yes. Most engineering and technical improvements in vehicles came from racing throughout history, and if you'll notice, many automakers started declining after pulling back from racing endeavors. Racing for any automaker is the ultimate R&D.
          Karfreek
          • 7 Months Ago
          @jack smith
          I will eagerly await that race derived Malibu drivetrain. You have got to be kidding me, man.
      Andrew
      • 7 Months Ago
      GM the best
      danfred311
      • 7 Months Ago
      murica
      bullitt2605
      • 7 Months Ago
      Sure seems like GM should be concentrating on others things right now.
        bullitt2605
        • 7 Months Ago
        @bullitt2605
        Gotta love the GM fans they are so tired of trying to defend GM they can't ever reply they just down vote.
          dohc73
          • 7 Months Ago
          @bullitt2605
          Yeah, because being a Ford fantard is so much more respectable...
      Arizonarelax
      • 7 Months Ago
      I like the idea, if and only if GM can focus on what is reported to be a series of development efforts in Pontiac. Interpreting AB reporting is always a challenge but reading elsewhere this may be good for GM. It appears GM will research power train options and electric motor options that will also include a path to consumer products not just racing. However, everything GM does now is being watched by the consumer as the bail out was nothing more than a slap to American public's face so positive results are expected, well, demanded! This will of course take time and GM is considerably behind the eight-ball but in this case, as long as it doesn't get bogged down with all the typical "old" and "new" GM BS that current corporate is spewing to the public, it may benefit the GM product line in 6-10 years. Really, this effort is GM's to lose to the growing and well established competition.
        Bandit5317
        • 7 Months Ago
        @Arizonarelax
        Performance-wise, GM either matches or is ahead of its competition.
      thedriveatfive
      • 7 Months Ago
      It includes a ramp leading up top a jump over a massive sink hole.
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